Interpreting TraceRoute Results

In the sample tracert below, the step between hops 1 and 2 is a Covad ATM run from Andover, MA to Dallas, TX. The step between hops 9 and 10 is a Cable & Wireless Optus AS run from San Francisco to Australia.

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In the Graph column, green bar colors indicate very good ping times (0 to 200ms), brownish-yellow means average (200 to 400ms), and red means poor (400ms and above). However, poor ping times may not always indicate a problem. If you are pinging sites that are very far away (Australia to USA in this example) then you can expect poor ping times even for a good connection. But it will be obvious from the "step" in the graph where the long-distance lines are crossed.

The Loss % column represents the percentage of packets that were "lost" (did not return within 1 second) for this hop. This column will be blank if all packets were received successfully. If you see non-blank values for loss you may want to increase Reps per hop to a value like 10 to see if there is a consistent and serious problem with lost packets. You may also want to increase the size of the packets to make the problem more obvious. Note that packet loss isn't necessarily local: It could be occuring anywhere "upstream" of the hop where it is actually reported. If multiple hops report loss, the first place to look for a problem is the lowest numbered hop that reports loss.

See our Help File for more.

If you consistently experience problems with a local site or hop, you should contact your ISP and report your results from the Trace Route test. Otherwise, if you're experiencing persistent problems with a more remote site, you can try contacting the host of that hop to investigate the bottleneck. You may be able to get an indication of which network has the problem by looking at the DNS name of the previous hop.

PC Pitstop's nslook utility can assist you in looking up DNS and IP addresses. Then you can visit to look up the contact/host for a specific address.

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